Syrian regime supporters protest against Rojavan federalism in Hasakah


Kurdish fighters are seen in central Qamishli in Hasakah governorate after clashes with pro-Assad forces. File photo: ARA News

ARA News 

HASAKAH – Syrian regime supporters demonstrated on Sunday against the expansion of the federal system in northern Syria. Local sources reported that the loyalists rallied in front of the Justice Palace in the northeastern city of Hasakah.

Tensions in the city rose between the regime’s Public Security Police (PSP) and the Kurdish-led Asayish. The Asayish police the autonomous cantons within Northern Syria – Rojava (NSR).

Local Asayish cut off the roads leading to the city centre in a bid to prevent regime supporters from reaching the city square. This closure caused a slowdown at Hasakah’s central market.

Ahmet Arif, a shop owner in Hasakah, told ARA News that 150-200 people attended the protest to oppose the imposition of federalism in northern Syria.

The Kurdish-led NSR controls 90-95 percent of Hasakah, while the PSP are confined to the security square. This state of affairs has persisted since last month when the regime lost most of its territory in a week-long battle.

A truce was reached between Rojavan and regime forces in Hasakah after Russia intervened. The truce agreement was signed in the Russian Khmeimim Air Base in Latakia Governorate.

Omar Sheikhmous, a senior Syrian Kurdish politician, told ARA News that the Hasakah protest demonstrates the regime’s rejection of any form of federalism for Kurds.

“The regime and its supporters are, in this way, giving a signal to the PYD [Democratic Union Party] that any political change in northern Syria would need approval from Damascus,” he said. The PYD is the leading Kurdish party in Syria.

“This might also mean that the regime now feels more confident and wants to reassert its authority in Kurdish areas. It is a test of limits,” Sheikhmous stated. “But a demonstration of 100-200 people in Hasakah is not big enough to influence the PYD.”

“It might be the local Arab militias who have taken the initiative for the demonstration, with the encouragement of some people in the Syrian security forces,” he concluded.

Reporting by: Qehreman Miste and Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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